Ting Wen goes under 55sec in 100m free
Ten years ago, swimmer Quah Ting Wen wanted to be the first Singaporean woman to go under two minutes in the 200m freestyle race. She achieved it that same year, at the Asian Youth Games on home soil.
A decade later, the 26-year-old has broken new ground again, but in a different event. Yesterday, she became the first local to go under 55 seconds in the women's 100m free, rewriting the national record twice in a day in the process.
The Swimfast Aquatic Club athlete topped the heats at the Liberty Insurance 50th Singapore National Age Group Swimming Championships in 54.98 seconds yesterday morning, bettering her mark of 55.41s at the Singapore Swim Series last month.
Quah set another personal best again in the finals in the same day with 54.82s, while AquaTech Swimming's Cherlyn Yeoh (55.45) and Jasmine Alkhaldi (56.45) of the Philippines were second and third respectively.
"I was (also) the first woman under 56 seconds for the 100 free," she said, referring to her 55.80sec effort in 2009 to break Joscelin Yeo's 10-year national record of 56.05.
"It's nice doing a best time, but it's also just fun for me to break the barriers."
Quah said she had been nervous before the heats, but her timing provided her a confidence boost for the final.
With her timing yesterday, Quah currently tops the event in South-east Asia and has also qualified for the November SEA Games, where she is the defending 100m freestyle champion.
But Quah also has her sights on the July Fina world championships in Gwangju and next year's Olympic Games in Tokyo.
She has met the B-cut entries for both, and the A-cut timings are 54.49s and 54.38s for the worlds and Olympics respectively.
Olympic 100m butterfly champion Joseph Schooling, who won the men's 100m freestyle last night in 49.35s representing the Chinese Swimming Club, is also targeting the World Championships A-cut timing of 48.80s.
Jonathan Tan finished second to Schooling in the super final in a national Under-17 record of 49.73s, and topped the boys' 15-17 age category. Darren Chua was third in 49.80s.
Also, Singapore Swimming Club's Ashley Lim rewrote her own U-14 national 200m individual medley mark in 2min 19.36sec last night.